Thursday 12 November 2015

Paris Opera Ballet School

History

The Paris Opera Ballet School is the oldest ballet school in the world. It was founded by King Louis XVI of France, in 1713 and has long since held the reputation of being one of the best ballet schools in the world.Initially located in Rue Saint-Nicaise, then the Palais Garnier the school is now located at Nanterre. Originally, only young adults would have been able to attend the school but in 1784, a special under twelves course was introduced when it was decided that to achieve maximum one had to receive more dance education. 

After the French Revolution, there were three 'tiers' to the school. Children start at the elementary school, which they attended until they are 13. The upper class until sixteen and after that the 'special class for improvements' foreshadowing the advanced class. Students could only remain a year in the upper class and two in the special class. Not all students were invited to the special class and it was an honor to be so. At eighteen all students had to leave to go and pursue their careers.

Now

Claude Bessy, director from 1972 to 2004, formed the school into what it is today. She moved the school to its present location in Nanterre and ensured that medical staff be in the school at all times to ensure physical preparation. They also feed into the Paris Opera Ballet Company and perform at the Palais Garnier.



Bibliography


Irish National Youth Ballet

History

The Irish National Youth Ballet was co-founded by Anne Campbell-Crawford, Paris, France and Professor Jean Wallis of the Akademie der Tanzen, Heidelberg, Germany. It has always been a case of auditions for the students and the first auditions were held in 1995 when the INYB was set up. The first company was chosen and a group of dancers aged 10 - 21 danced in the first performance in 1996. In 1999, a junior group of aged 8 and over was formed.




Now

The current Artistic Director, Katherine Lewis is working hard on expanding the repertoire of INYB with original work and licensed pieces. They practice in The Dance House on Foley Street on Saturdays. This makes them nearly unique in the ballet school world as most professional schools are boarding schools that have to provide a general education as well for the students.


Bibliography


The School of American Ballet

History

The School of American Ballet was founded in 1934 with 32 pupils by Lincoln Kirstein. It was originally situated in 637 Madison Avenue, New York City. Its original staff included, but was not limited to, Pierre Vladimiroff, American ballet pioneer Dorothy Littlefield, and Muriel Stuart, who had trained and danced with the legendary Anna Pavlova.


Around this time, Kirstein writes: “The School of American Ballet has been founded for one purpose only: To provide dancers as well trained as any other technician, whether it be surgeon, architect, or musician.”


Later in that year, Georgi Balanchine started choreographing a ballet using students from the school. The ballet, Serenade, became the School's signature dance and is still performed today. When Balanchine started a ballet company, he incorporated the school with it. Because of this and his unique style, Balanchine's work and specific tempo use are still evident in the School of American Ballet today.




Now

The School of American Ballet has always been closely associated with the New York City Ballet and now the company has many of the same characteristics including the strong Balanchine style. It also has the strong tradition of taking past dancers from New York City Ballet as dance teachers in the School of American Ballet. In exchange the NYCB takes children from SAB to be part in their shows, whether in a small acting role or as the lead. The role of Clara in The Nutcracker is often a student. 

They have 450 students aged 6 to 18 who take part in their ten month term, 64 of which are boarders at the school . THe students are mainly form the Metropolian New York area but SAB also has students from over 30 US states and 9 foreign countries.




Bibliography



Sunday 8 November 2015

The Royal Ballet School

History

Situated in London, The Royal Ballet school was founded by Dame Ninette de Valois in 1926. Under the original name of the Academy of Choreographic Art, she collaborated with Lilian Baylis to form a repertory ballet company and school. When Lilian Baylis inherited the Sadler's Wells Theatre the school was moved there and started feeding students into the Vic-Wells Ballet Company. In 1931 they were renamed to be the Sadler's Wells Ballet School and Company.

It was not until 1946 that the company moved to were they are now in the Royal Opera House, Convent Gardens and the school moved shortly afterwards to Baron Courts in 1947. The five younger years of the school moved to White Lodge in 1956 and became a boarding school, mixing vocational training with general education while the senior years remained in Baron Courts.

The school and company were granted a Royal Charter in 1956 and changed their names to the Royal Ballet School, The Royal Ballet and Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet as they are known now. In 2003 the senior school joined the juniors and company and Conen Gardens finalising Dame Ninette de Valois' dream of having school and company working side by side in Central London.


Now

The Royal Ballet School has trained some of the most prestigious dancers in the last half century such as Darcy Bussel, Anthony Dowell and Margot Fonteyn along with famous choreographers such as Christopher Wheeldon. 

Admission to the school is decided in auditions either in the school itself or by video submission and places are decided purely by talent. However the school is not free of charge and 89% of students still rely on financial support in order to attend. To combat this they offer scholarships and bursaries to those in need so as to keep with their policy of never turning down a talented talent.


Royal Ballet School Pupils

Bibliography



Saturday 10 October 2015

The Origins of Ballet

Ballet was first established in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th Century. Each performance was an exciting and luxurious event and the Italian court enjoyed them immensely. The masters of the dance taught the steps and skills to Italian nobility and when they put on a show the court would often join in.
In 1533, Catherine de Medici married who would later become King Henry II of France. Along with starting the French Wars of Religion she also introduced the dance to the French Court. Her thrilling festivals of dance led to the growth of ballet de cour, which included dance, ornamentation, costume, song, music and poetry. However it did not grow hugely in popularity until a century later when Louis XIV came to the throne.
He was a big fan of the dance and performed many roles personally. His most famous role was as Apollo, giving him the name "The Sun King." Because of the emphasis that Louis placed on ballet, many people credit him with founding the dance we now know and love. Indeed steps and phrases are all 'en fran├žais' and many of the roots of modern steps are traced back to this period. King Louis XIV also made it possible for amateur performers to study ballet professionally by opening the Paris Opera Ballet in 1661. This was a mix of ballet and opera and ballet that was performed on stage. However ballet was not seen as a separate art form until the mid - 1770's when ballet master Jean Georges Noverre started showcasing ballet separately.




 

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